Entek Extruders (Booth E11564) of Lebanon, Ore., has invested $5.5 million to expand its facilities and acquire more capital equipment to manufacture twin-screw extruders and related components. The division of Entek Manufacturing Inc. expects to start using the space by the end of May.
The addition includes 17,000 square feet for engineering services and 20,000 square feet for a state-of-the-art area for customers to try out polymers on Entek machines and a materials-testing laboratory.
Construction started in November, adjacent to Entek Extruders' existing 40,000-square-foot plant.
Entek Extruders began developing the twin-screw line in early 1998 and is finding a receptive market for the product line, according to David Peterson, international sales and marketing manager.
Barrel sizes range from 27-133 millimeters, "but we have not restricted ourselves to these sizes due to our in-house capabilities" for machining, electrical systems and programmable-logic controllers, he said. "We can expand this range on request."
A patent is pending on a quick-release die system that can access screws within the machine in less than one minute. The system and a 103mm extruder will be shown at NPE 2000, June 19-23 in Chicago.
Entek Extruders employs about 90, up from 70 a year earlier, and hiring continues.
Entek Manufacturing has engineered and produced custom-built screw elements, shafts and barrels since 1984, initially mostly for sister company Entek International LLC. External sales began in 1995. Replacement screws, shafts and barrels are available for extruders from other original equipment manufacturers.
Entek International makes microporous polyethylene battery separator material in Newcastle, England, and at the Lebanon site.